Here’s a scenario from the Pantheon Twitter.
You’re in a guild that can see when you’re online, they ask you to help with something boring like grinding for mats or guild finances but your friends are waiting to play with you, what do you do?
I’m viewing this one from multiple angles.
I took a little hiatus from responsibilities for the past few days to catch up on some work and other RL things. I’m back in action now, so let’s catch up on a few things!
What is Keen Playing?
I’m playing WoW, obviously. There’s a lot to say here, but I’ll try and condense it down into the highlights.
My Paladin is iLevel 340 something. I had horrible luck on the first world bosses and received no loot. My luck has also been pretty darn bad in Mythic+’s, and I’ve only found a few upgrades. I’m also carrying around a few lower iLevel pieces of gear (like 325) because I haven’t found a better item. Realistically, though, I’m plenty geared for what I want to do right now.
Raiding is going pretty well. Our casual guild fielded quite a few on the first night we raided, and had a little bit of an attendance issue the second night because of multiple RL injuries and issues that came up — I think Football didn’t help either. I got 2 drops so far, and I really like the boss fights. The setting isn’t my thing, but the mechanics are fun.
Yesterday was a really big day for those of us playing World of Warcraft. Battle for Azeroth’s first raid, Mythic+ season, and Warfront all began on the same day. Talk about overload! I feel like they should have staggered these a little more over the weekend. Having a really hectic work week didn’t make for an easy transition for me. I felt rushed to get ready for the raid and to see the content no day 1. Despite being manic, I was able to have a lot of fun.
I thought it would take me forever, but I just put my head down, my nose to the grindstone, and played like I said I would. I did the quests I wanted, skipped the ones I didn’t, and now I have the Dark Iron Dwarves unlocked!
Along with the allied race I’m also given faster mount speed in BFA zones. It’s slight, but every bit helps without flying. With Pathfinder Part 1 done, I’m even more anxious to fly.
Now I’m stuck deciding if I’m going to level my Dark Iron Dwarf Warrior from 20-120, or if I’m going to boost. If I boost, I don’t get the heritage armor. Does that matter enough to me? Does the Heritage Armor look cool enough that I would transmog BFA gear to look like it? Obviously it’s cool enough looking that I’m conflicted… but cool enough to spend 50+ hours? I’m trying to think logically about it. I won’t have fun leveling from 20-110 at all. If I think about 50 hours and what I value my time at, I can tell you the boost is entirely economical.
Couple of weeks into BFA, I’m a bit disappointed by the Island Expeditions. Closer to the expansions launch I wrote a post about how I felt they were a little too like PvP. I think that’s still true for me, but since they nerfed the enemy NPCs I haven’t really been too bothered by them. My real issue with them is that they’re… just really not well designed.
The concept of choosing a server has really evolved over the years. Way back when MMORPGs first became a thing -- that is to say, people starting playing role-playing games in a large multiplayer setting (before they were called "MMORPGs") -- we didn't have multiple servers. There was one server because there wasn't enough people to justify more.
Then the genre grew and we had games come with with *gasp* 5-10 servers. After the population explosion of WoW, servers became almost ridiculous. There became so many servers it became literally hard to count them all.
Population explosion and opening so many servers has its obvious drawbacks. When populations dip, as they inevitably do, you have some servers become ghost towns and others become overpopulated. You also have a fractured community, and you may have friends on a different server. There are fixes, many of which games like WoW have done. There are alternatives, many of which other games have done.
This question was on the Pantheon MMO Twitter account the other day:
Two guilds arrive at an overland raid mob, what are the unspoken rules in place as to who gets to go first? What would your guild do?
This reminds me of the days when I was relevant enough in the "top tier player" scene to even bother thinking about this kind of stuff. I was the guild leader of the top raiding guild on our server in vanilla days. We competed for Kazzak and the Dragons of Nightmare that would spawn.
There was only one other guild that could down them, and it was always a race to see who could get there first and pull. We respected the pull when it happened, but would often pray they pulled before the rest of their team was there or got sloppy so that we could have a turn.
Tonight I was able to finish up the Alliance campaign, and I have to say it was phenomenal. I don't know what you guys over on the Horde are experiencing, but over here the stage is being set for a resurrection of the greatest Warcraft story ever told.
Heads up, there will be spoilers here as I discuss ending of the Alliance campaign so far.
I thought I'd deviate slightly from the WoW posts to talk about some MMO design. Specifically, I want to talk about loot.
What's your ideal MMORPG loot system?
Mine is pretty simple: Everything you do is rewarding.
That's pretty broad, but I want to talk about that for a second and then we can go into specific examples.
The ideal loot system never leaves me feeling like I just ran a dungeon or a raid and ended up with nothing to show for it. I don't want to do something for an hour, or maybe even 4 hours, and end that night frustrated that absolutely nothing dropped for me.
I've waffled so many times on the concept of world scaling that I can't really remember how I originally felt. Back in January I posted about the scaling and noted immersion and other things.
I want to make particular note of calling out that I found, even back then, the idea of wading through mobs that I should have progressed beyond to be annoying.
I think my prophetic complaints came to pass.